by Bill Turner
Hidden Valley exploded with five second-inning runs, and the Titans rolled in the Region IV baseball quarterfinals with the surprisingly easy 8-1 win over Patrick County Tuesday afternoon at Titan Field.
Hidden Valley advanced to play Bassett in a regional semifinal set for Wednesday evening at Calfee Park in Pulaski.
Hayden Smith got things going for Hidden Valley in the second with a lead-off hit, and the Titans efficiently used aggressive baserunning, a sacrifice bunt and double steal to highlight the five-run outburst.
Patrick County helped the Titan cause with an error and a passed ball that scored a Hidden Valley run. The big blow came from the bat of Jack Moore, who blasted a 2-RBI triple into the left-center field gap. Moore finished the day going 4-for-4 with a single, two doubles and the three-bagger.
Hidden Valley later added two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to effectively put the game out of reach.
Patrick County’s only run came on a Tyler Belcher solo home run to deep left in the Cougar fourth.
Avery Pierce went the distance on the mound to pick up the win for Hidden Valley, allowing only four Cougar hits in his gem.